By using website you agree to our use of cookies as described in our cookie policy. Learn More

TDWI Upside - Where Data Means Business

4 Tips for Improving Project Management with Business Intelligence

BI isn't just for analyzing your business' transactions. It can improve project management in four crucial ways.

Project managers are continuously confronted with operational and strategic challenges. They search for cost-effective solutions that will bring them fast results and streamline their processes, especially in IT, where the average project cost overrun is 27 percent and schedules may run 70 percent longer than expected. Poorly defined goals, unrealistic deadlines, inadequate software, poor communication, and many other issues accumulate in the process of developing and conducting a successful project.

For Further Reading:

4 Ways to Evolve Your Project Management

AI and BI Projects Are Bogged Down With Data Preparation Tasks

Laying the Foundation to Unlock AI Value at Scale

However, potential increases in the effectiveness of project management can be found in business intelligence. Here are some of the benefits of BI to consider when choosing a project management strategy.

#1: BI can automate processes

Managers face interdepartmental communication problems, often lost within endless e-mails or spreadsheets full of data that are extremely hard to organize and research adequately. When specific information has to be found and addressed, the possibility of human error increases exponentially.

BI applications can automate processes so a project manager doesn't need to manually monitor the entire team or company. Basic business intelligence concepts teach us that automation, empowered with artificial intelligence, enables managers to automatically share information and detect business anomalies that would otherwise stay undetected. What BI can do for your enterprises' transactions it can do for your projects.

#2: Use BI to predict the future

No matter which industry a project manager belongs to, s/he needs to be successful in predicting outcomes and adjusting strategies according to the project plan. Let's not forget "black swan" cases which cost companies such as Levi Strauss and Kmart hundreds of millions of dollars, and, possibly, bankruptcy. Managers have to monitor vast numbers of KPIs, manage teams, react to challenges right on time, control activities, and forecast future events.

Business intelligence uses predictive analytics forecasting based on historical data and generates suggestions for future outcomes. Decisions need to be based on facts, and by collecting the enormous volumes of data, BI can cut the process and deliver faster insights.

#3: BI can help you keep finances under control

As mentioned, cost overruns are a regular risk that managers must consider before, during, and after a project. Without proper financial control, costs can easily accumulate and overrun the established budget. The issue with financial management is that often processes, data, and analysis are not fast enough, which brings additional challenges to reducing the amount of financial risk.

Business intelligence serves as a tool for project managers to close that gap and establish a financial environment that is reliable and low-risk.

#4: BI can provide more reliable and accurate data

With the expansion of modern technologies, data quality has become one of the key factors when making a project decision. Having increased confidence in the quality of information can bring enormous benefits. Analytics in project management is performed by a manager as well as other participating departments that need an overview of the project schedule and how their work fits into it.

Data that is comprehensive, clear, and available in real time is a BI standard, and project managers can take advantage of insights and improve their overall performance.

About the Author

Sandra Durcevic is a content manager at datapine. Her expertise is focused on business intelligence, data, analytics, and technology while striving to deliver the most knowledgeable and useful information to readers. You can contact the author via email or LinkedIn.

TDWI Membership

Accelerate Your Projects,
and Your Career

TDWI Members have access to exclusive research reports, publications, communities and training.

Individual, Student, and Team memberships available.